What Is a Tri-Colored American Bully?




Tri-Colored American Bully

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Tri-Colored American Bully is a rare dog breed for a good reason; most breeders avoid them as they’re considered a mixed breed. If you’re curious like me, you probably have many unanswered questions about this dog breed, including what they exactly are. You may also want to know whether tri-colored American Bullies are excellent pets.

A tri-colored American Bully is a type of American Bully with three colors in its coat instead of the typical one or two colors. The most common tri-colors are black, white, and tan; however, there are other color combinations. For example, you can have a blue or lilac tri-colored American Bully.

In this article, I’ll discuss the tri-colored American Bully, including her characteristics and whether it makes a good pet. You’ll also get to know the potential health concerns of tri-colored American Bullies. Keep reading to learn about this rare breed and whether you should have one in your home. 

The Origin of Tri-Colored American Bullies

Like other American Bullies, Tri-colored American bullies originated in the United States. 

The Animal Corner Organization discusses that the American Bully is a new breed that originated between 1980 to 1990.

Tri-colored American Bullies are a result of interbreeding between:

  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • American Pitbull Terrier
  • Other Pitbulls.

It’s worth noting that most people confuse American Bullies with Pitbulls. The reason for this is that American Bullies were originally bred from Pitbulls. However, they’re two different breeds, and American Bullies are not considered as dangerous as Pitbulls.

Pitbulls have a reputation for being aggressive and dangerous; however, this isn’t always the case. In most instances, it all boils down to how they’re raised and trained.

Reasons Why Tri-Colored American Bullies Are Rare

Tricolored American Bullies are less common compared to their two and single-colored counterparts. The main reasons are:

Most Breeders Don’t Purposely Breed Them

Uniformed members of the public erroneously consider the tricolored American Bullies a mixed breed. Therefore, most professional breeders don’t purposely breed them because most buyers prefer what they consider pure-breed dogs.

Many people believe the perception that tricolored American Bullies are a mixed breed. However, this is a misconception formulated around the distinctive colors of these dogs. Therefore, breeders want to avert losses by not breeding tri-colored American Bullies.

They’re Also Known As “Mismarks”

Tricolored American Bullies are sometimes known as “mismarks.” A mismark is an animal with coat coloration that doesn’t meet the traditional standards of the breed. For example, a tri-colored American Bully would be considered a mismark in the show ring.

Most show rings prefer two or single-colored American Bullies. Therefore, tri-colored American Bullies are at a disadvantage when competing against their counterparts.

Breeding Challenges

You can only breed Tri-colored American Bullies if one parent is tricolored and the other has recessive genes. This requirement is a challenge for most breeders as it’s difficult to find two tricolored American Bullies with the same coat color.

The lack of enough breeding stock makes it challenging to produce tri-colored American Bullies. Sometimes, you may have to wait months before getting your hands on one.

Characteristics of Tri-Colored American Bullies

Tri-colored American Bullies boast distinctive coats that feature three colors; a base color (black, lilac, chocolate, or blue), white, and tan. There is a specific reason for this distinctive color pattern, as discussed among the characteristics of tri-colored American Bullies below:


Why do tri-colored American Bullies have coats with the distinctive three-color pattern instead of the typical two or one color? Many people ask this question, and the reason is as follows.

To understand the tri-colored pattern, you must know the factors determining a dog’s coat color. According to VCA Animal Hospitalsphaeomelanin (red) and eumelanin (black) pigments determine the coat color in dogs. 

Each hair follicle in dogs has melanocyte cells that determine the amount of melanin a hair will have. The more melanin a hair has, the darker it will appear.

The red and black pigments have default colors that genes can alter to create tan points. In American Bullies, the agouti (A) locus is responsible for the color variation.

Agouti locus has Tan Point allele (at), which is responsible for the tri-color pattern in American Bullies. The Tan Point allele is a dominant gene that alters the default color of black phaeomelanin to create tan points.

Tan point genes produce color variations based on the color genes in the loci. For instance, if the pigmentation is white, the resulting American Bull will be white and tan.

Coat Characteristics

Apart from color, tri-colored American Bullies have coats with the following features:

  • Short
  • Fine
  • Smooth
  • Glossy.

These coat characteristics are common in all American Bullies, including the tri-colored ones. The coat’s shortness, fineness, and smoothness make it easy to care for these dogs. You won’t have to spend hours grooming your dog as the coat is low maintenance.

Moreover, by having short and smooth coats, these dogs shed less. Thus, if you’re worried about finding hair all over your furniture, tri-colored American Bullies can be your choice.

Bullies are disadvantaged because the short coat means that they can suffer significantly in cold weather. It’s therefore essential to invest in a quality dog sweater.


Tri-colored American Bullies are highly affectionate dogs. They love being around people and other dogs if properly raised and socialized. These dogs can also be very gentle, loving, and loyal companions.

Despite their Pitbull lineage, tri-colored American Bullies aren’t as aggressive as their pitbull cousins. In most cases, their temperament depends on their upbringing and training.

If you want a family pet that’s gentle and affectionate, a tri-colored American Bully would be an excellent choice.


Like other American Bullies, tri-colored American Bullies come in three different size categories; Standard, Classic, and XL. I wrote a specific article about the different types of American Bullys, check it out if you want some more details about the different types.

The Standard-Size Bullies

The standard Bully has a height that ranges from:

  • 17” to 20” (43.18-50.8 cm) for males
  • 16” to 19” (40.64-48.26 cm) for females.

Classic-Sized Tri-Colored American Bullies 

While they have a lesser physique, they are the same size as their standard-sized counterparts at:

  • 17” to 20” (43.18-50.8 cm) for males
  • 16” to 19” (40.64-48.26 cm) for females.

The XL American Bullies

The XL Bullies are the largest of the three and have larger body structures than other Bullies.

Their size ranges from:

  • 20” to 23” (43.18-58.42 cm) for males
  • 19” to 22” (48.26-55.88 cm) for females. 

How To Breed a Tri-Color American Bully

A tri-color Bully is striking, and you might be interested in creating a tri-color Bully through breeding. The two most common ways to achieve this beautiful coloration are as follows.  

Matching Tri-Colored American Bullies

Ensuring both parents are tri-colored is the most common method to produce purebred tri-colored American Bullies.

To achieve this, you need to find two tri-colored American Bullies with the desired coat color, size, and temperament. Once you’ve acquired them, you can then proceed to breed them.

Breeding a One or Two-Colored American Bully With a Tri-Colored American Bully

The second method involves breeding a one or two-colored American Bully with a tri-colored American Bully. However, the two or single-colored American Bully must be a recessive carrier of the Tan Point gene.

The most common coat colors recessive carriers of the Tan Point gene are blue, chocolate, and lilac. When owners breed such American Bullies with tri-colored American Bullies, they have a higher chance of producing offspring with the desired coat color.

Factors To Consider Before Breeding for Tricolor

When breeding for a tricolor American Bully, your crucial consideration should not be on color. The essential factors to consider are:


What type of pet do you want? In most cases, you want a loving, gentle, and loyal Bully that will make a great family pet. American Bully’s show less dog-on-human aggression than their Pitbull counterparts and have a reputation for being remarkably gentle with children. 

However, due to high levels of potential dog-on-dog aggression, a genetic heritage of the Pitbull, owners must take great care in socializing and training this powerful breed. 


Do you want a large Bully or one that’s medium-sized? Standard and Classic Bullies are usually the ideal sizes for most families. They’re not too big, and they’re also not too small. However, unlike many other breeds, you can choose the size that fits your home and grounds the best out of the Standard, classic, and XL varieties. 


How much are you willing to spend on your Bully? American Bullies can be pretty expensive, especially if you’re looking for one with exotic coat color.

According to K9 Web, the cost of American Bullies ranges from $2,000 to $5,000. Therefore, you must plan early to get the money needed for the breed.

Once you’ve considered all these factors, you can proceed to look for a color mix you love.

Factors To Consider Before Owning a Tri-Colored American Bully

Owning such a powerful dog breed entails a responsibility to ensure your furry friend is happy and healthy. As a result, knowing the specific requirements and factors to consider before owning a dog breed is essential. For a tri-colored American Bully, here are a few things you should take into account:

Size and Space Requirements

Tri-colored American Bullies come in three sizes; standard, classic, and XL. They also have a large and muscular body structure. If you’re considering getting one of these dogs, make sure you have enough space for them to move around freely.

For efficiency, get an XL-size crate for your Bully, as it will give them enough room to move and act as their safe space.

Tolerance to Hot and Cold Weather

The tri-colored American Bully may struggle to adapt to extreme weather conditions, whether it’s hot or cold. However, they’re more tolerant of cold weather than hot weather.

If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, you should take extra care of your Bully during the hot and cold seasons. As discussed by the AAHA Organization, your pup will need free water and shade if you live in a hot climate to prevent heatstroke.

Requires Plenty of Exercises

Like all American Bullies, tri-colored American Bullies are high-energy dogs that require a lot of exercise.

You should, therefore, create time to take your Bully for long walks or runs. Alternatively, you can enroll them in doggy sports such as agility and flyball to help burn off their excess energy.

According to the American Kennel Club, exercising your dog is one way to stimulate their mental capability. A stimulated dog makes a happy, jovial, and friendly companion.

If you’re a busy person with little time to spare, you can get a dog walker or enroll your Bully in doggy daycare.

Potential Health Concerns of Tri-Colored American Bullies

Tri-colored American bullies are generally healthy and gregarious. However, like other dogs, they are susceptible to specific health conditions.

Some of the potential health concerns that may affect your tri-colored American Bully include:

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a common condition that causes pain and lameness in the hind legs. It’s common in large dog breeds like American Bullies. 

The American Kennel Club says that although this condition is hereditary, it’s magnified by:

  • Improper weight
  • Improper exercises
  • Poor nutrition
  • Excessive growth rate.

Symptoms of hip dysplasia in tri-colored American Bullies include:

  • Difficulty in jumping, rising or running
  • Joint grating
  • Limping and stiffness
  • Hind-end lameness.

Fortunately, you can manage the symptoms of hip dysplasia through weight control, physical therapy, and vet-recommended exercises.

Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia is a painful condition caused by the malformation of the elbow joint. It can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the severity of the deformity.

Treatment options for this condition include weight control, anti-inflammatory medications, and surgery.

Congenital Heart Disease

American bulldogs, including the tri-colored American Bully, are predisposed to congenital heart diseases. These conditions include pulmonic stenosis, patent ductus arteriosus, and subvalvular aortic stenosis.

Symptoms of congenital heart disease in dogs include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Decreased appetite
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Coughing.

If your Bully shows any of these symptoms, take them to the vet immediately for diagnosis and treatment. Early detection and treatment of congenital heart disease can improve your dog’s quality and length of life.

Skin Diseases

Like humans, dogs are susceptible to skin diseases. Eczema and seborrhea are the two common skin diseases in bullies. These skin conditions are mainly due to allergies, hypothyroidism, Cushing’s disease, and parasites like fleas and mice.

Eczema is a condition that causes the skin to become dry, itchy, and inflamed. On the other hand, Seborrhea makes a dog’s skin greasy with lackluster hair.

These conditions manifest through:

  • Dandruff
  • Dull and dry coat
  • A greasy skin with an odor
  • Itchiness.

You can only treat these diseases if you know the root cause. Thus, taking your canine friend to the vet for a diagnosis is advisable to root out the cause. The vet will recommend suitable treatment based on the disease’s cause.

Final Thoughts

The tri-colored American Bully is a rare beautiful dog with a fantastic personality. Unlike polar misconception about breed quality, the primary difference between this Bully and other Bullies is their coat color. Their coats combine three colors instead of the standard one or two colors.

Although they are friendly dogs, tri-colored American Bullies need a lot of exercise to keep them stimulated. However, as the proud owners of this breed will attest, when correctly reared, they make unbeatable companions. 

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